Today we want to look at the “lone wolf” attacks that we are seeing in North America. Why are they doing what they do? It is because of blessings they are promised when they become a Shahid. A Shahid is a person who dies as a martyr in the cause of Allah.
When we examine the recent attacks, two in Canada and one in New York, we see that these men were on a suicide mission, they wanted to die. When they got up the day of their attack, they expected it to be their last day on earth.
Before we get into this I want to look at a blog post by Shahram that has gotten a lot of attention this week. The title of the post is “I’m Ready To God To Jail.” The post is based on what has happened in Couer d’Alene, Idaho. Donald and Evelyn Knapp are ordained Foursquare pastors in Coeur d’Alene. They politely declined to perform a same sex marriage ceremony at their wedding chapel, The Hitching Post. Their right of conscience and religious freedom did not matter to the city of Coeur d’Alene, who recently had passed an ordinance that penalizes any “discrimination” against sexual orientation. The Knapps now face a civil fine of $1000 per day AND a criminal penalty of 180 days in jail for EACH DAY that they refuse to perform the homosexual wedding. For every week that this continues, they face a $7000 fine and 3 1/2 YEARS in jail.
The reason Shahram wrote the blog post was to make a very important point. Are we, as Christians, ready to defend our faith, and if necessary, go to jail? Many people say that this will never happen in America because we are the land of the free and the home of the brave. Well, it is happening right now in America.
We have freedom today because our spiritual ancestors had the courage to stand for truth and righteousness, and to go to jail, or even death if necessary. Our pulpits have been silent too long. It is time for pastors and lay Christians alike to put away their fear of man and have a proper fear of God. It is time to stand up and be counted.
The problems in America, and the rest of the world, will not be solved from the top down. Electing godly leaders is important, but it all needs to start with “we, the people.” If we don’t get right with God nothing will change and the slide will continue.
There is much confusion in America as to what pastors and churches can do concerning political issues. We have been led to believe that we cannot speak out on political issues, but we can. Our Constitution guarantees us that right.
We have mentioned a survey that asked pastors if the Bible speaks to the political issues of the day. Ninety percent of the them answered that it does but when asked if they preach about these issues only one out of ten said they did. When asked why they did not preach on these issues the major reason was fear of losing their tax exempt status.
Most evangelical Christians have bought the lie that religion and politics don’t mix. As a result most who identify themselves as evangelical Christians are not even registered to vote. Most of those who are registered don’t vote. If Christians would vote, and vote for righteousness instead of their pocketbook, we could turn this nation around. We could return America to what made it the great nation it is.
Here is what pastors can and cannot do. Pastors cannot promote a particular candidate on the church’s time or with the church’s money. He can do this on his own time and with his own money. Pastors can, on the church’s time and dime, present the candidates positions on issues if they do so for all of the candidates and without endorsing a given candidate. He can show those who have biblical values and those who do not.
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